The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers

Over 7.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Black Female Pop Singers
Voting Rules
Vote up the top Black female pop singers around the world.

You've sung along to their songs countless times and might have grown up listening to their music. Now it's time to celebrate the women behind the unforgettable tunes. These incredible vocalists are the greatest Black female pop singers of all time, as voted on by you. The best Black female pop singers come in many forms. Some famous Black female pop singers sing the blues, while other top pop singers infuse rock into their catchy songs. And of course, all of the best Black female pop singers have written chart-topping hit singles reaching all generations of listeners, young and old.

What artists will you find on this list of the best Black female pop singers? Whitney Houston is easily one of he best Black female singers of the '80s, and arguably one of the most iconic singers of all time. She charted seven consecutive number-one Billboard Hot 100 hits, including “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” Current black boss-lady superstars Rihanna and Beyoncé have broken countless glass ceilings and redefined pop music worldwide with their unparalleled talent. Perennial favorites like “Natural Woman” and “Think” made Aretha Franklin a worldwide superstar. Other artists featured on this list include African American female singers Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, and Macy Gray.

Which Black female pop singer do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Who were the best Black female singers of the 2000s and 2010s? Which older Black female singers paved the way for today's #BlackGirlMagic? Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them towards number one.

Most divisive: Aaliyah
Ranked by
  • Tracy Chapman
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music
    1,317 votes

    Emerging in the late 1980s, Tracy Chapman's distinct voice and soulful storytelling quickly cemented her as a trailblazer in the music world. With hits like "Fast Car" and "Give Me One Reason," she captured audiences by weaving together social issues, personal emotions, and powerful melodies. Chapman's ability to break boundaries while maintaining a captivating sound is what makes her a standout among pop singers. Her sincere approach to songwriting and groundbreaking fusion of folk and pop have left a lasting impact on the industry.

  • Whitney Houston
    Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B
    2,107 votes

    Throughout her illustrious career, Whitney Houston's astounding vocal range and emotional depth captivated millions. Often hailed as one of the most powerful voices in music, she not only dominated the charts but also broke barriers for black women in pop. With countless memorable hits, Houston's influence can be felt across generations of artists, validating her place among the greatest female pop singers of all time. Her effortless grace and incomparable talent will remain a defining marker in the history of music.

  • Aretha Franklin
    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
    1,618 votes

    Dubbed the "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin's seismic impact on popular music is undeniable. Her unmatched ability to infuse heartfelt emotion into her songs made her a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Franklin's extraordinary vocal prowess, coupled with her ability to seamlessly switch between different genres, solidified her legendary status. From gospel to soul, jazz to pop, her versatile talent and unwavering commitment to artistic excellence is a testament to her greatness.

  • Nina Simone
    Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
    898 votes

    A true icon of music, Nina Simone's unique blend of jazz, blues, and classical styles created an unparalleled sound that forever changed the landscape of pop music. Known for her velvety voice, sharp wit, and unflinching activism, Simone tackled complex themes such as love, pain, and social injustice in her music. Her refusal to be confined by the standards of her time further solidified her status as a trailblazer. Nina Simone's emotionally charged performances and innovative songwriting continue to inspire countless musicians today.

  • Tina Turner
    Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues
    1,499 votes

    Embodying resilience and raw talent, Tina Turner became a symbol of strength and empowerment in the music industry. Her magnetic stage presence and explosive vocal abilities solidified her as one of the most electrifying female pop singers to ever grace the stage. Turner's career longevity, which spans multiple decades, is a testament to her undeniable impact and influence. With an extensive repertoire of chart-topping hits, her passionate performances and fiery spirit continue to leave audiences in awe.

  • Ella Fitzgerald
    Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music
    986 votes

    Affectionately known as the "First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald's otherworldly vocal abilities and innate sense of rhythm made her a true pioneer in the world of jazz and pop music. Her velvety-smooth voice and effortless scat singing set her apart from her contemporaries, propelling her to critical acclaim and worldwide fame. Fitzgerald's indelible impact on the music scene shines through her unity of technical skill, emotional depth, and charismatic stage presence. Her groundbreaking contributions to popular music will always be remembered and celebrated.